In an attempt to recreate "the original vacation" and bring his family closer together, Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) decides to take his wife, Debbie (Christina Applegate), and two sons, John and Kevin Griswold, on a road trip to Walley World. Along the way, the family encounters a string of bad luck and unbelievable scenarios, visiting Aunt Audrey (Leslie Mann) and Grandparents Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) and Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) in the process. The film was directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the men who brought you Horrible Bosses.
I know it's not fair to compare reboots to the originals because they hardly ever live up to the expectations, but I felt like this movie tried way too hard to make the audience laugh. First off, pretty much throughout the entire movie the stunts become more and more outrageous and far fetched. In one scene, Rusty tries to outrun a truck driver that Kevin calls a rapist over a CB radio. Knowing their Tartan Prancer, an Albanian minivan, could not outrun the 14-wheeler, he decides to pull the hand break and turn the wheel left in an attempt to turn the van around and drive the opposite direction. He claimed that if Vin Diesel could do it, then so could he. However, instead, he manages to flip the minivan over and they roll a few times while on the highway and manage to drive away safely with no injuries. The car was already fall apart, so for the family to have been able to survive what would have been an otherwise horrific accident is beside me. What makes the original a classic is that the writers don't try to force the audience to enjoy the road trip, instead they fill the moments with a kind of charm and wit that this reboot lacks.
As for the characters, I was appalled to see the writers would create someone as horrible as bad-mouthed Kevin. In the movie, this kid says and does same very awful things to his older brother John, including nearly suffocating him with a plastic bag on more than one occasion. In one scene, Kevin exclaims that he would be happy if he learned that his older brother had AIDS, while in another scene, he jokes about shooting his brother with a gun. I found the entire character was in bad taste and should not have been a created for a family movie. As for John, I felt like the writers tried too hard to make him seem like a loser before eventually redeeming himself in the end. But, he does have some funny scenes, like when he finally stands up to his little brother and knocks him to the ground while pinching his cheeks like a baby and massaging his ears. Somehow, that was enough to make Kevin stop because later on, John says something weird and he doesn't want to calls him names. Also, I kinda liked that the movie was filled with random actors, including Chris Hemsworth, Charlie Day, Elizabeth Gillies, Norman Reedus, Hannah Davis and Keegan-Michael Peele.
If this movie was not a part of the Vacation franchise, I would not have thought so bad of it. But because the movie claims to be a new generation of the Griswolds, I am forced to compare it to John Hughes' original Vacation. If you don't mind the crude humor and unbelievable stunts, then go for it, maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did. But if you are hoping to experience the heart and charm of the original, then I am an sad to let you know that this movie is not what you are looking for.
Be sure to get your dopy of Vacation on Blu-Ray/DVD today!